The National Forum for Cooperation of Religions in Finland (CORE Forum) brings together three religions: Christianity, Islam and Judaism. The CORE Forum’s founding member communities are the Central Council of Jewish Communities in Finland, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, the Finnish Ecumenical Council, the Finnish Islamic Congregation, and the Islamic Council of Finland.
The CORE Forum’s mission is to foster peace in society by promoting interfaith dialogue, cooperation and mutual respect. Our key values include equality and freedom of religion. The right to practice and manifest religion and the assertion of the equality of religions are also founding principles in a democratic society.
Despite their differences, all religions are united by their core values of peace, understanding and responsibility. These values also guide the CORE Forum’s operations. The CORE Forum is a member of the Religions for Peace network and thus also a link in a worldwide movement to promote interfaith dialogue.
The CORE Forum cooperates with the public authorities, acts as an expert in religious matters, participates in social dialogue and organises various events. In all our work, we promote the visible role of religion in everyday life and the visibility of religious representatives as active social participants.
The idea of establishing an interfaith forum in Finland first saw light in the early 2000s, when former president of Finland Tarja Halonen invited the leaders of three monotheistic religions to meet at the Presidential Palace after the shocking 9/11 terrorist attacks. In a meeting on 26 September 2001, the religious leaders discussed the roots and consequences of international terrorism with Ms. Halonen, who encouraged the religious leaders to continue to meet in the future.
Ms. Halonen’s initiative sparked regular interfaith meetings, which eventually led to the establishment of the CORE Forum in 2011. The founding member communities represent three religions: Christianity, Islam and Judaism. The CORE Forum members are the Central Council of Jewish Communities in Finland, the Finnish Ecumenical Council, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, the Finnish Islamic Congregation, and the Islamic Council of Finland.
Since our founding, we have organised various seminars and cultural events, written a blog, issued comments and reports to the authorities, and taken part in discussions about education policy and other subjects. The CORE Forum is also a member organisation in councils and working groups of various public authorities: the Forum has a representative in the Finnish Advisory Board for Ethnic Relations (ETNO), the Advisory Board for Non-Discrimination Matters, the Human Rights in Foreign Policy network, and the Radinet project, which is aimed at preventing violent extremism.
For more about the CORE Forum’s past work, read our annual reports from previous years.